Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality/ancestry?
Gary: I was born in the U.S., but my ancestry is German. My great-great grandfather, Ambrose Koenig, came to the U.S. either just before or just after the American Civil War, and changed his name to King. He came from Bavaria, specifically Baden-Baden, the Black Forest area of Germany.Scarberryfields: Please tell us about everything you have written (published and unpublished).
Gary: I began writing professionally when I was about 25, when I took over Ann Rule’s spot as Pacific Northwest stringer for True Detective magazine and its affiliated Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer; DRIVEN TO KILL; WEB OF DECEIT; BLIND RAGE; SAVAGE VENGEANCE; AN EARLY GRAVE; THE TEXAS 7; MURDER IN HOLLYWOOD; ANGELS OF DEATH; STOLEN IN THE NIGHT; LOVE, LIES, AND MURDER; AN ALMOST PERFECT MURDER; BUTCHER; RAGE; THE MURDER OF MEREDITH KERCHER; and DEAD OF NIGHT. I’ve since gone independent, as many authors have done and are doing, and republished some of my earlier titles to which I hold electronic rights, and I am currently putting together a compilation of some of my earlier stories from my days at True Detective, stories about cases that most people haven’t heard about. I also write occasionally for Crime Library, and have provided online content for Investigation Discovery’s website, and for other Discovery Channel sites. I am currently contemplating making the transition from nonfiction to fiction, but also considering other true crime cases for a new stand-alone nonfiction book. BLOOD LUST has been translated into German and Portuguese publications. During my tenure there, I wrote about 400 stories, all true cases based on research and interviews. I’ve traditionally published 16 books, including BLOOD LUST.
Scarberryfields: Once you finish writing a poem or fiction, do you miss the characters you’ve written about?
Gary: So far, missing characters hasn’t applied to me since I write nonfiction. But I do often wonder what has happened to some of the people I’ve written about, particularly family members of victims. I can appreciate, however, that a fiction writer becomes attached to his or her characters and is reluctant to let them simply ride into the sunset.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
Gary: Usually a dictionary will suffice, but I sometimes consult grammar books if there is something I’m unsure about, though not often. Writing has always been natural to me, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps it comes naturally because I read a lot as a child and teenager. Or perhaps I was a writer in another life!
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Gary: Both. Now that I’m working as an independent, there isn’t nearly as much complaining because the only deadlines I have are those that are self-imposed. But my family has always understood that writing is what I do, and that I need the time alone to complete my work. They’ve always been supportive of me.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
Gary: Writing has made me more grateful for what I have, and has helped me appreciate life more. I’m a very lucky guy, and I never forget that aspect of my life or where I’ve come from. Writing true crime and meeting with victims’ families has taught me the difference between sympathy and empathy, an important distinction that we all need to know and practice. When you can place yourself inside someone else’s shoes, feel what they feel and cry right along with them over their loss, it changes you—for the better. You become a person who no longer thinks only of himself, and other people—even strangers—become important to you, in varying degrees, of course. Writing, especially now that I’ve gone indie, has freed up considerable time to allow for things that I love, like travel and spending time with my family, and reading.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Gary: No, I haven’t been able to do that yet, and I no longer even try. I attempt to limit the time spent on social networks when I’m writing, but I allow time for that part of my life several times each day, whether writing or not. I’d be lost without social networking. I’ve made a lot of good friends, such as yourself, through social networking, and many people I know online have become important to me, much as close personal friends are important to me. Social networking is a great outlet for many different reasons, not just marketing (though marketing is important).
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Gary: Yes, but for only one of my books, my first, BLOOD LUST. My wife read it first, loved it, but she hasn’t picked up another since. She found it very compelling reading, but it also disturbed her greatly in that she was not aware of the evil that exists in the world prior to reading BLOOD LUST. I’ve never pressured her further. My daughters have read some of my books after publication, and loved them!
Scarberryfields: Do you read ebooks? If you do, and write reviews, do you have any special process you use to write a review?
Gary: Oh, yes! I resisted eBooks for years, but finally broke down and found out what I was missing. I love eBooks now, and am always adding a new title to my iPad, often from new writers I discover through social networking. There are some real gems out there, just waiting to be discovered. I still love the look and feel of paper and ink books, but I’m now much more selective about those I purchase—usually collectibles of some sort, signed books, etc. I don’t write many reviews, but I do write a few and usually for Amazon.com. I never slam another author’s work, though. If I can’t write at least a somewhat positive review, I won’t write a review at all. Others can fill that void adequately without me! J
Scarberryfields: What is the last book called that you completed and published? Also, where can we find this book?
Gary: RAGE was my last published book. It can be found at Barnes and Noble, both in their brick and mortar stores and online, and at Amazon.com. I don’t believe it has yet been published as an eBook. As for eBooks, BLOOD LUST, DRIVEN TO KILL, TO DIE FOR (previously published as Blind Rage), and MURDER IN ROOM 305 (previously published as Web of Deceit), were all republished by me last year and have consistently been on Amazon.com bestseller lists. Those books can also be found at BN.com.
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your books?
Gary: With the demise of Borders and other brick and mortar bookstores, many of my traditionally-published books can be found through independent bookstores and Barnes and Noble. The easiest way to obtain my books, both eBooks and traditionally-published, is on Amazon.com and BN.com, and other online retailers. Readers can find descriptions and excerpts from my books on my website, www.garycking.com, which also provides purchase links.
Scarberryfields: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Gary.